Blog Archives

Unprotected: a Timeline of Inaction on the Most Important Fish in the Sea

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Unprotected: a Menhaden Timeline Menhaden has been called “the most important fish in the sea,” because it forms the base of the Atlantic food web, providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner for important marine predators. But it is also an anomaly in Atlantic fishery management. Despite 30 years of scientific evidence pointing to the decline of …

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Omega Protein Hiring Hundreds of Foreign Workers While Boasting of Jobs in the U.S.

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The little menhaden is creating quite a ripple. An Atlantic coast fisheries commission is expected by week’s end to set a coast wide catch limit for Atlantic menhaden for the first time in history, despite the lobbying efforts of Omega Protein, the huge Houston-based harvester of the fish. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), …

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Science for Hire: What Industry’s Deep Pockets Are Doing to Our Fisheries

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[Editor's note: This article was cross-posted on Alternet under the title "Science for Hire: Why Industry's Deep Pockets May Be Depleting the Last of Our Fisheries."] It’s sunset in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, a time when the little town’s handful of shops board up for the night, and the lights click off at no fewer than …

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Small Fish, Big Break: California Votes to Protect Ocean’s Tiny Residents

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Small fish have just gotten a big break. A California state policy adopted this week will limit fishing of “forage fish”—small, schooling fish that make up an important part of the diets of marine animals. Whales, dolphins, sharks, seabirds, and predator fish have an insatiable appetite for oily, nutrient-packed forage fish like herring, sardines, squid, krill, and …

The Secretive Fishery Management Agency that Regulates Your Fish

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On an unseasonably warm evening in September 2011, in Danvers, Massachusetts, a fishery regulator and two biologists were taking comments from the public about the decline of an important forage fish called Atlantic menhaden, when something strange happened. The regulator turned to a lobbyist for Omega Protein, the largest commercial harvester of menhaden, and asked …

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Make Your Voice Heard on Atlantic Menhaden Regulations

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Decision day is upon us. Now it’s time to weigh in. On December 14th, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) will finally decide how much to cut the allowable harvest of Atlantic menhaden — a forage fish that has been overexploited by the commercial fishing industry for half a century. Almost one year ago, …

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